Introductions

Please feel free to introduce yourself.

Who you are?
Do you suffer from Fibromyalgia?
Do you know someone who suffers from Fibromyalgia?
What symptoms do you have?
What preventative things do you do?

Share what ever information you are comfortable with.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

27 Responses to Introductions

  1. Deb in NH says:

    Hi all. My name is Deb. I was dx with fibro in April after yrs of lossing jobs do to pain and other things. I have my first appointment with a pain doc tomorrow and hope to get some releif finally as I also have had b=my astma get worse recently. This is the first blog I have been involved with. I al also lookign at doing things from home as I have basically een out of work for the past yr. I am a licensed psychotherapist in a bordering state. Due to he amount of experience I have with documentation for disabilty approval. this is what i am thinkign of doing. I am hoping that the local Voke Rehab dept will help get it off the ground as one of the things i enjoy most is helping people get what they need. it’s a side bonus to me to get paid. thanks for being here michelle

    • Hi Deb. Welcome and I hope you find my blog useful. Because of loosing jobs myself, I started my own virtual assistant business 3 years ago. It was so much stress worrying about loosing my job. Since I have been working from home, it has been so much better. I love that I can work from bed with my laptop. I hope things went well with your doctors appointment. Feel free to comment on any post you want and share. Good luck with everything and keep in touch :)

  2. Julie Pruitt says:

    Dear Michelle,

    I am so happy to have found you on Twitter! I recently went into business for myself as an administrative consultant to support small and online businesses virtually. I am very excited to meet other virtual assistants! We have a lot in common and I am looking forward to connecting and learning more.

    Your professional website and your blog are great and very impressive. On VirtAssist4U, I especially like the calls to action, “Learn More” buttons on the home page. The content on the “Benefits” page was especially impressive and very well presented.

    I was “pleasantly” surprised to learn from your about page you have a blog about your experiences with Fibromyalgia. I too have Fibromyalgia. This is interesting to me I found your website today because I have had this on my mind lately! I have pondered recently if this or other similar aspects of my personal life are something I would want to include on my professional bio and if so, if these certain aspects will help me find that “sweet spot” for determining my exact target client. I would especially like to connect with advocates, altruists, and nonprofits.

    Personally this cause and anything involving spreading valuable information and helping others, is very dear to my daily life and me. Your own personal decision to not only blog about FMS and help so many others but also speak openly about it professionally is awesome and motivating to me. You have positively influenced me to do what I feel in my heart is right when it comes to this.

    Thank you so much! You are a blessing!

    Sincerely,
    Julie Pruitt
    Administrative Consultant

    • Thank you Julie so much for the great comment. It really made my day and I hope you don’t mind, but I would like to post your comment on my facebook business page.

      It took me a long time to come to terms with my Fibromyalgia. I have had it for over 15 years and didn’t come to terms with until 3 years ago. When I was let go from my last jo 3 years ago, I did a lot of soul searching about my life and how I handled things. I started my blog thinking it would never take off and now I have been doing it for 3 years. I knew I had to find something I could do from home. I had already had 2 businesses, Web Page By Design and I am a Mary Kay consultant. Number 1 they weren’t pulling in the money and number 2 I wasn’t in love with what I did. I did some reasearch on-line about stay at home businessess and kept seeing virtual assistant. As I did more research, I knew this was something I could do. I have over 10 years admin skills and over 8 years in web and marketing design. I ran the idea by my family and a few friends and they had never heard of a virtual assistant but loved the idea.

      The first year was very slow if not working at all because my mother had some health issues that needed our family’s whole attention and support. Once that got better I focused soley on getting my business up and running. Since then (3 years ago), I have been non-stop busy. I was in such a good place that when I had my son a year ago, I was able to take off 3-4 months and enjoy mother hood. Because I hate networking, I didn’t have to do much of that. Clients have been finding me by word of mouth, my website and social media.

      I am so happy with the choises I have made since being let go and life is good. Thank goodness I have a suportive husband and family. They have seen the change in my because I am happier with things and I love what I do.

      Feel free to contact me anytime for anything, virtual assistant stuff or fibro stuff.

      Good luck with everything :)

      Michelle Arbore

  3. Buddy Fed says:

    I had to quit work in 09, I walked out on Xmas eve,, knowing I would never go back,, I had struggled for the previous 2 years with odd symptoms,, and all i got here was,, well its all in your head, not until I started to see some (real) doctors did I get a few Dx;s,, Sjogrens,, Chiari,, and since then its been downhill,, Small fiber Neuropathy,, I drag my legs and arms around daily, my salivary glands are just rotting away,, I get SSDI,, and a pension,, and i;m only 56,, to young for this stuff,, but I cant turn back the clock,, my family hates what this has done to me, cant enjoy life with any of them,, its not fun,, never was,, and now that its gotten worse,, it never will be,, was just outside chasing my dog that got loose,, by the time I caught him I thought i was going to pass out,, I just have a hrd time doing anything without feeling like i;lm going to pass out,, so no, i dont work anymore, and cant do a thinng around the house,, anything I try to do just sends spasms through my body,, evey joint hurts

    • I am so sorry to hear about that Buddy. This week was a bad week for me because I had a flare up and I felt like I was 70, and I’m only 34. I have had many talks with my husband and luckily he is finally understanding I can’t do it all anymore. We have a 10 month old, I work from home and try to take care of our home. He has been really helpful around the house and when I need help with stuff. I guess I finally came to terms with fibro when I stopped fighting it. I now accept it and work with it. Since then, it has been some what easier. Good luck with things :)

  4. Sue says:

    I am 43 diagnosed 4 years ago but had symptoms as long as 7 years ago just getting worse. I also have migraines, hypoglycemic, diverticulitis, have had tumor in kidney and parathyroid, hysterectomy ,gallbladder. And had bad wreck fractured C-1 , bulging disc, spinal stenosis, scoliosis! I probably missed something but just trying to give run down. I am a hair stylist and have been struggling to keep working but I have been in so much pain am on lots of meds to keep going. Doc thinks I am in bad flare up tells me to find new profession! I am curious to know how many people are able to manage there fybro well enough to continue working??????

    • Because I was so stressed about being let go from jobs, I decided to find something I can do from home. I am a virtual assistant and own my own company. Now I can work in bed on a bad day and no ones knows. Now I don’t have that stress anymore. I can take a sick day and not feel guilty and make my own hours. Good luck to you Sue!

  5. Buddy says:

    I have suffered with this dreaded disease now for about 4 years,, but also told I have Sjogrens Syndrome,,I can only tell you thatthere are days I wish I could leave this earth and the pain behind,, I pushed myself to hard yesterday, cut grass,, and last night and today,, my body feels like its trying to tear itself apart,, wondering what you people go through,,witht he guts I can hear them churning,, I getconstipated,, and cant go for a couple of days,,take metamucil,,but I think its a combination ofneuropathy,, along with fibro,,Icant imagine living like this for the nexthow many years I have left,, Male,, 56 years old

    • Buddy,

      Hang in there. Try and think about the happy things in your life and it does help. I have a great husband and a beautiful baby boy along with my family and friends. Don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days as well, but I have to push through them because of my baby.

      Talk to you soon.

      Michelle

  6. Guia says:

    I really love your site here. I will surely be here more often.. :)

  7. Joyce says:

    I have been considering trying to start a Fibromyalgia Support Group in my area. There was a very unsuccessful group that fell apart a couple of years ago, and nothing since. Does anyone have experience in such a start-up group?
    Joyce

    • Hi Joyce. I started a group last year in my area and it turned out ok. I just couldn’t get people to come and I had to cancel a lot of events. It’s hard to keep a group going. I tried coming up with different meeting events but it was still hard.

      Good luck and keep me posted on how it goes.

      Michelle

      • vonneYvonne says:

        Hi Joyce
        my name is Yvonne and I run two groups onein Blackburn and another Accrington Lancs you will feel that everything is not worth it but persevre you may not get many coming each time but some are to ill to make it but just to be told how much better people feel from there chat with everyone makes it worthwhile why not contact other groups who will help you to get started.
        Yvonne

  8. Joyce says:

    Fibro is certainly not new to me. I was diagnosed about 15+ years ago. It is just getting harder to manage. I still have the flare ups and I get so tired, but my skin and now tongue burn all the time. I feel like I have the worst sunburn of my life every day. I have hyper tastes that crop up with out warning. One day everything tastes like salt! or even worse, I suck on a copper penny all day. These symptoms are wearing me out. I too have had trouble with employment. I went from a very healthy paycheck with considerable responsibility, to not being able to make and grocery list. My self esteem has done a real nose dive, but I try hard to fight it. Any suggestions about honest work from home opportunities, not scams.

  9. Heather J says:

    I have enjoyed your website! Thanks for your hard work–it is well appreciated!

    I am a 30-year old woman who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia nearly two years ago. I believe my symptoms began in my late teens when I started to become fatigued very easily even though I got enough rest each night. When I was in college, the joint pain began. I remember missing my classes because my hips and legs hurt too bad to walk to class. I felt like I was falling apart. I lived with the pain and fatigue and saw doctor after doctor but none of them knew what was wrong. One doctor suggested that I should be tested for arthritis. The test was negative. I became pregnant with my son in May 2007. My pregnancy went great but afterward, I felt HORRIBLE! I had post-partum depression and was prescribed Celexa but it gave me stomach trouble so I stopped taking it. The fatigue and pain became worse and worse the year after I had my son. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I was falling asleep at work and I felt miserable. I saw a doctor that I had recently been seeing for allergy ailments and other things and told him how I felt. I had “self-diagnosed” myself with fibromyalgia just from what I had read from the internet and books and I wanted a confirmation of my own diagnosis. I didn’t mention that to my doctor, however. He asked if anyone in my family had fibromyalgia and I responded no. He checked my body for tender points and he said I had nearly all of them. He gave me some information, prescribed 50 mg of Tramadol as well as muscle relaxers and I went on my way.

    Here are the main problems I experience with fibromyalgia:
    -Restless Leg Syndrome–this is AWFUL! The restlessness isn’t just confined to my legs but my entire body. I feel like I’m going crazy when the RLS flares up. I haven’t really found a way to treat it.
    -Fatigue
    -Sensitivity to light and temperature. I used to be able to see well when I drove at night. Over the years, my night vision has gotten so much worse and I read that fibro can cause it. I also used to be very tolerant of cooler temperatures. Now I can’t stand it when a room isn’t 75 degrees and I feel like I’m freezing all the time. This drives my fiance crazy!
    -Joint Pain
    -Soreness and tenderness in my neck and shoulders–that is the area that bothers me the most.
    -Headaches
    -IBS
    -Insomnia–I have no trouble going to sleep but I often wake up several times throughout the night and then I can’t go back to sleep.
    -many, many other symptoms…

    I have noticed that I get really bad fibro flare-ups around the time of my menstrual period. I highly suspect that fibro has something to do with hormonal imbalances or something of that nature but I’m not sure how or why. I just know I feel my worst when it’s that time of the month and it’s definitely not from PMS. I switched my oral contraceptive recently to see if that would help. Right now I am still taking Tramadol as needed for pain but I have the same bottle I was prescribed a long time ago. I took Trazadone for a bout of insomnia I had about a year ago and went off of it several months ago at the suggestion of a different doctor I began seeing. It helped with my sleep and suppressed my appetite. I’m still looking for the magic cure for this awful thing called fibromyalgia. My son is nearly three now and I feel like I don’t have the energy to play with him. It hurts to play with him on the floor, which he loves for me to do. I feel like I am 70 instead of 30 most days. :(

    • becky says:

      I totally feel your pain Heather and all the others here. I have many of the same symptoms and flare ups as well – I am 49 and feel at least in my 80s much of the time. Was diagnosed in December 2011 with firbro and Hashimotos Thyroiditis (which go hand in hand), mostly by myself and confirmed by rheumatologist and then specialist in fibro -but have been suffering for at least 6-19 years off and on however, not much cn they do but prescribe medications w/ multiple side effects that make my symptoms worse. I feel many times when I am having a flare up, 2 or 3 day debilitating headaches or just plain unable to do simple house work without resting every 20 minutes like a complete failure as a person!! Mornings are completely the worst time for me as getting out of bed is extremely painful and I don’t even want to get up because I hurt so badly. I have an 89 year old uncle and 84 year old aunt that get around better than I do. Fortunately, I have found a chiropractor in my town that is extremely knowledgeable and nutritionally/supplementally brilliant and is trying to help me as well as being very supportive and a sounding board for my woes. One thing I can recommend is to go gluten free, sugar free, no artificial sweetners and no processed foods. When I am able to stick to this way of eating, my IBS symptoms disappear, my energy increases and I sleep better as well. Pain levels decrease also…Pace yourself as I am learning to do cause if you don’t, you and your family pays for it heavily as you become debilitated for awhile. Best wishes to all of you, keep researching, and trying different things, easy things, and do everything you can do to manage any stress in your life. I now work from home which has been a godsend to me as I could not function outside the home without losing my job. God Bless!

  10. Diana says:

    OKay, still finding my way around here. This is a great website, Michelle. I blog and I know how much work and thought goes into this sort of thing. And you’ve done your research.

    I am 56, a mother and grandmother. I have had FM and CFS for over 20 years. It doesn’t get better. Or if it does for a little while, it doesn’t stay better. Very frustrating. Over the years I have tried a number of medications and alternative treatments. I have a lot of sensitivities and negative reactions to both, which is typical of FM/CFS.

    I have been in a severe flare-up now since December. I am a registered nurse, working part-time. I took almost six months off, and now I’m back at work two days a week and it’s a struggle. Besides the usual FM/CFS symptoms I have also had a lot of vertigo. I would be interested in knowing how many FM sufferers have vertigo and dizziness. I have gotten it off and on since I first got sick in 1988.

    For the FM I have been on Lyrica since around February, but I have been very sleepy and I have put on a lot of weight, both side effects of Lyrica, so I am curently weaning back off Lyrica to see if that’s what is causing that. And to decide if the moderate improvement in pain was worth the increased fatigue.

    I am also on Cymbalta.

    I take a number of OTC vitamins and minerals, including Omega 3, and Vitmin E, for the pain, and I think they help a little. I cannot afford a lot of the alternative therapies.

    The biggest help in my life has been my faith in God, and that thropugh all this He is here with me, and my life is still worth something.

    Last summer I got to the point where I was running and I actually went in a 5 km race. It made me feel good in my mind, and I lost a lot of weight (which has since all gone back on). In retrospect I think I was trying too hard and I know I was pushing. I think it was part of what brought on the flare-up. That and pushing too hard at work. So now I am pacing myself and living with the dust-bunnies. :) You have to be able to laugh.

    It feels good to meet others who know what this is like, the frustratuion,s, the disappointments, the feeling like some strange alien…

    • Hi Diana. Thank you for visiting my Fibromyalgia blog. I totally understand how you feel. I have not been able to take any medicine for over 4 years now because my husband and I are trying to get pregnant, but I do have the weight gain from stress. I take a joint supplement through Nikan as well as a multi vitamine. I don’t exercise, which I know I should do something. I work from home with three businesses – web design, Mary Kay and am starting a new business Virtual Assistance 4U. It’s easier for me to work from home because I can’t hold a job otherwise. I do have some family support but it’s hard for people to understand. I can’t stand the people that don’t want to take the time to understand and learn about Fibromyalgia. Oh well, thanks again for visiting and I hope you subscribed to my posts. Talk to you soon.

  11. Marie says:

    Michelle, very informative and well constructed blog site. THANK YOU for providing so much info.

    I thought I would pipe in here with my approach to fibro. I took prescription meds before, but the side effects were unbearable and I gave up. I decided to take a holistic approach and I’m glad I did. It was slow, but sure progress and when I look back over time, I have made so much improvement. I find for most days, I have much less pain, brain fog lifted, and sleep, oh my, I actually get sleep now. I have a couple friends with fibro and they too are having success. We’ve stumbled onto a set of holistic approaches that are working for us, so its good to have my friends feeling better too. I found a couple of bloggers that are going the holistic route, and that has been good to read about their success.

    Just wanted to say I rate your blog right up there at the top. Keep up the good work.

    Kindest regards,
    Marie

    • Thanks Marie. Would you mind sharing what you and your friends do? Maybe that will help other people and I am interested in seeing what works for you.

      • Marie says:

        Michelle, I’ll be happy to share. Its a combination of several ‘holistic’ items, that all combined seem to be working for me and my friends with fibro.

        1) Chiropractor – this is a must for me…once a month. I went more often at first, now only need once a month. If I keep my body aligned properly, it makes a world of difference. Look for chiropractors or D.O’s that treat fibro.

        2) Stretching/deep breathing – the stretching/deep breathing does wonders for me, more than any exercise!! I also walk. I stay away from high impact exercise. Some of my friends do yoga. I heard Dr. Oz say many times he recommends stretching for everyone every day. Now I understand why. I do 20 minutes in the morning.

        3) I have a TENS unit – love it. I use it every day. Helps with anxiety and depression.

        4) Neutraceuticals (high end supplements). This by far was the biggest positive change for me. I had so many side effects from prescription drugs and the effect in the end felt like it was tearing down my body rather than helping. I remember the day I vowed to stop taking prescriptions and search for alternatives. I was frustrated and depressed about it all, but in the end, so glad I did. Don’t buy drug store grade, be sure to get high quality. There are many different supplements out there recommended for fibro (magnesium, etc) and sometimes hard to know what to take and in what amounts. You have to really search around and verify quality.

        I’ll tell you what works for me. A friend told me about them. They take about 3 to 4 weeks to kick in, but oh my…THEY WORK (at least they work for me and several of my friends)! Helped me with three main issues: pain, brain fog and sleep. And I keep having better results the longer I stay on them, been of them for a few months now. I did some research on them and the doctor who created them. Its a package of products formulated specifically for fibro (although one friend of mine doesn’t have fibro and she takes them for her nerve pain). They are called Fibromyalgia Natural Relief. The doctor is Dr. Robin Mayfield. I sent in several questions on her website and she was very helpful and answered them all. You can google it, or visit the website: http://www.andfibromyalgia.com

        5) Massage – A deep massage really helps me. I can’t afford to go often, but it’s the way I treat myself.

        6) Emotional support – Seeing psychotherapists helps tremdously. We all see how our emotions tie back to the symptoms. This has made a HUGH difference.

        7) Meditation – I try to meditate, but I find it really hard to do. Regardless, when I do, I find it helps.

        8) The ole “P” word – PACE myself. :-) I finally had to realize I can’t do it all. This alone has also been a great help and hurdle for me to accept.

        9) Support networks – great friends, networks, and blogs such as yours.

        Sorry this is a long post, but these are the items that, in combination, are working. I keep searching all the time for other alternative solutions, so I’m sure I’ll keep finding more to add to the list.

        Hope others find this helpful. It changed my life.

        Much love,
        Marie

  12. I LOVE your new website!! Very well designed. In fact, I’d like to give you my blog award!!! Please email me and I will email YOU your award to put on your blog, if you’d like.

    I’ve had fibromyalgia for about 15 years now and I loved the medication page. I had tried a lot of the older anti-depressants and am now on Savella and have been taking that for about a year. It has really helped me sleep better, but I’m always in pain due to lumbar disc compression to my nerve roots in my legs. I take high dose morphine and even with that the pain eats right through it. I’m significantly overweight, am going for lap-band surgery (I hope!) and maybe if I lost a lot of weight I’d feel better. We shall see. Anyway, sorry to talk your ear off. Good job on your site. I will visit often. Please come and see my blog. I’d love to have you! And email me…..I’ll send you an award!!
    Sincerely,
    Missy

  13. Brian says:

    This website is well thought out. I really liked the medication page, there are meds on there i never knew about. I have fibro, had it for 20 years, diagnosed last year. Tried cymbalta, it took 100% of my pain away but the side effects were really bad.On lyrica now, gained 5 kilos in 3 weeks and feel i need more and more of lyrica to have the same effect. Dont think i will be on Lyrica for long otherwise i will be getting heart problems,diabetes etc with the weight gain.

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